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Iain Hamilton Grant

The Construction of Matter and the Deep Field Problem

Symposium Speculations on Anonymous Materials
15:00FridericianumFriedrichsplatz 1834117 Kassel
The project of the construction of matter issues from philosophical modernity's indebtedness to the natural sciences: to understand a mineral it is insufficient to analyse it into its constituents unless the mineral can in turn be synthesised from them. If everything that is is material, the understanding of matter entails the analysis of all that is, and in place of a synthesis of this or that particular, the construction of a universe. Such a universe is in principle responsive to thought, experience and manipulation, even if the construction of matter its synthesis entails is parasitic on a material universe as a field in which this construction occurs. Yet if matter is thus understood, matter is nothing other than the thought, experience and manipulation responsive universe it constructs. The ontological cost, however, is that the universe upon which its construction is parasitic is by the same account not a material one. If it is objected that the thought-universe thus constructed is merely ideal and accordingly not material, however, the ontological cost is equally great, and materialism is again compromised. The materialist ontology this paper sets out to sketch is compatible with the constructability of matter only if matter consists of that set of repertoires the totality of which is always an additional repertoire.